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Understanding the gray zone in Kharkiv region: Insights from the Ukrainian Armed Forces

Understanding the gray zone in Kharkiv region: Insights from the Ukrainian Armed Forces Photo: a military man explained what the gray zone is in the Kharkiv region (Getty Images)

The gray zone in the Kharkiv region is expanding following the increased activity of Russian troops along the border with the Russian Federation. Ivan Tymochko, the head of the Council of Reservists of the Ground Forces explained what kind of territory it is and how it emerged.

"Indeed, after the enemy retreated during the Kharkiv campaign (in the fall of 2022), but it did not perfectly halt along the border line. Nevertheless, artillery battles were ongoing, and clashes with sabotage and reconnaissance groups were constant, resulting in the formation of such a line within Russia's territory, varying in thickness from 5 to 10 kilometers, essentially unclaimed, yet within Russian territory, where neither the Russians nor the Ukrainian Armed Forces could secure or build robust fortifications in a way that immediately absorbed attacks," he said.

According to the military, Russians aimed to occupy this territory, in addition to a massive information campaign, to prevent the Ukrainian Armed Forces from advancing into Russian territory or building fortifications.

"The enemy's offensive actions (in the Kharkiv region on May 10) were preceded by a massive information campaign. Remember how they escalated the situation in this direction. The task set before the occupiers was to draw our reserves and resources. Although in reality, they were trying to improve the position of their troops there. If we observe where they advanced from, it's the famous Shebekino," Tymochko reminded.

Situation in the border part of the Kharkiv region

The Kharkiv region borders the Belgorod region of the Russian Federation. In recent weeks, Russian propagandists have launched an information campaign about an advance on Kharkiv.

In particular, on May 10, Russian troops began shelling the border settlements of the Kharkiv region, including Vovchansk and villages, with artillery and combat drones, and enemy sabotage and reconnaissance groups attempted to breach the border. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported an attempt by Russian forces to breach the border. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the Russian advance in the Kharkiv region was repelled.

In the first hours after the intensification of the Russian Federation on the Deep State resource map, which monitors the situation on the front, a gray zone emerged on the Ukrainian side near the border, in the area of the Kharkiv region. Initially, it appeared in the area of the village of Pletenivka. According to recent data, there are already two such gray zones in the Kharkiv region - 52.5 square kilometers and 26.5 square kilometers.